|High winds blamed for county communication issues|
|Written by PETER KUEBECK Sentinel Staff Writer|
|Wednesday, 20 November 2013 10:47|
High winds are being blamed for communications issues during Sunday's storms in a system used by police and first responders.
"Anyone using that system would have had problems" when the winds were high, said Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn this morning. "Anyone using that system, including our deputies."
Currently, the village police and fire departments utilize the sheriff's office's "canopy" communications system, and have been a part of it since August. A tower used for the system is situated behind the sheriff's office just south of U.S. 6. The sheriff's office itself has been using the system since approximately 2006, said Wasylyshyn.
"We had an issue during the storm that when the wind was really high, obviously they antennas sway in the wind, and they're designed to do that. And what we're looking into is whether our dishes moved in the wind or if it was because of sway in the antennae that caused communication issues."
He noted unofficial reports of wind gusts in the area of 85 miles per hour during Sunday's storm, which wreaked havoc on residential and commercial property largely in the northern and southern portions of Wood County and left thousands without power. Two tornadoes - one in Perrysburg Township, and another in Jerry City - were confirmed to have touched down.
Wasylyshyn said that if the dishes are found to have moved during the storm, they will be better secured to the tower. If it is the tower itself that moved, he said, it's unclear what steps, if any, can be taken.
"We're just hoping it's just because of the high winds that happened."
"I was told the $30 million Lucas County system was having issues in that wind storm, too," he said.
Wasylyshyn indicated it's not known yet if the communication issues were responsible for what he has characterized as "miscommunication" with a homeowner in rural North Baltimore whose house was destroyed in the storm. The homeowner called 911 on Sunday, but aid did not come until nearly two hours later.
Wasylyshyn said they are still looking into the incident, and the dispatcher who handled the call is to be back on shift today.
The National Weather Service is reportedly examining evidence to determine if the North Baltimore incident involved a tornado.
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